It’s full on holiday season. Memories, worshipping with our family, turkey, shopping, gifts, decorating, pumpkin lattes, parties, holiday parades. Some of these things won’t be part of our celebration this year. This makes me sad sometimes when I think about how altered the next few weeks will inevitably be. But it also triggers my creative side. No, my girls and I won’t be out shopping together and having lunch and laughing and trying really hard to hide the gifts we’re buying in our cart. Strategically covering things with our coats won’t be happening this year. But we are brainstorming new ways to have fun together. Fridays will be Girl Night. We’re going to make hot chocolate, online shop and throw out silly hints and then snuggle up for a sappy Hallmark Christmas movie. Not the same but I’m sure the beginning of new traditions.
Church will be similarly not the same. We most likely won’t be able to gather in the Sanctuary together for Christmas Eve. Does that mean that it’s ruined? I don’t think so. It’s just different. We’re working hard at church to come up with new ways to share our joy and peace and faith with each other. Be sure to check out the “Coming Soon” page in the Tidings. We’re going to Candle Light Carol at Barrie Park. We’re going to light up a tree in the front of the church for all to see that we are still in awe of the Light.
In searching for comfort in this trying time, I have realized that my family is pretty darn amazing. That friends haven’t walked away or forgotten about me. That co-workers are still people that have the same goals and dedication. That my faith is strong and growing. These are the things that we need to keep focusing on.
We also need to take our focus off of ourselves for a minute and remember that as we mourn the loss of some of our traditions, there are plenty of people that are struggling. Again this year, we will be supporting families through Jefferson County’s Christmas Neighbor program (details will be out soon). It will be different for sure but the end result will still be the same. Sharing our love, sharing our faith, sharing our resources and sharing Christ’s love.
Grace + Peace
Support Fort – During the month of November, snap a picture of you/your family enjoying take-out or frequenting one of our great Fort businesses. The first three families to send me 10 pics of different places wins a $25 Chamber Bucks certificate! Start sending in those pictures!
Afternoons in Advent – A series of afternoons with Pastor Amy with great discussion and activities.
Christmas Neighbors – We are still adopting the same number of families as always. We’re jsut going to figure out a new way to do it!
Gift Cards – Gift card orders will be the same as usual. Watch your Tidings for more info.
Candlelight Christmas Caroling in the Park – Sunday, Dec. 20, stay tuned for more info.
Car Trunk Christmas Cookies – Church Chicks is working on a fun Christmas Cookie distribution. Details coming soon.
Virtual Christmas Card – Record your family making a holiday greeting (under a minute or two please). I’ll compile them into a weekly Virtual Christmas Card that we will send to everyone. What a great way to see some faces that we have missed!
Drive-Thru Communion – Every Sunday will still be drive-thru communion from 10 a.m. to 10:30. Come see us!
If you are interested in purchasing a poinsettia this year, please contact the office. More information will be coming soon on delivery date and price.
November Sunday School
The Sunday school lessons for Nov. 2020 features Psalm 136:1-9 and Psalm 150:3-6. The theme for the month is “Giving Thanks and Praise to God”. Here is a sampling of each of these Psalms.
O give thanks to the Lord, for he is good, for his steadfast love endures forever. Psalm 136:1
Let everything that breathers praise the Lord! Praise the Lord! Psalm 150:6
Our personal celebrations of Thanksgiving may be different this year. Our routines are different. In the midst of this; let us encourage each other to remember God’s steadfast love lasts forever. If you have any questions about Sunday school, contact Julie Vurva at email@example.com.
Hanging of the Greens
Sadly we can’t all be together this year to decorate our beautiful Sanctuary. However, we still want to be able to have the church decorated! We will also be adding new/more lights and decorations to the exterior of the church.
Please look over the following decorating jobs in the link below and sign up for one of them as a family unit. We would like these jobs to be done the week of Thanksgiving. Each family will be alone in the church when they do the job they chose to do. Sign your family unit up to decorate using the link below or by calling Sarah during regular office hours.
Help spread Christmas joy by showcasing the talents you have been blessed with! Send us a video of you or a group singing, dancing, playing an instrument, or even performing a dramatic reading. If you cannot record your performance on your own, then don’t worry, we can record for you! Please let Sarah know you need assistance.. The recital will premiere online on December 20th.
Please follow these guidelines:
- All entries must be sent in by Dec. 10 to be included in the recital
- All performances should be less than 5 minutes
- Sign up online or over the phone with your act
- You must provide your own festive music/accompaniment
- Please keep in mind that this recital will be posted online
Sign up using the link below, or by calling the church at 920-563-4145 during regular office hours.
Our Hope and Expectation will be available during Drive through Communion on Sunday, Nov. 15 from 10:00 a.m. – 10:30 a.m. and Thursday, Nov. 19 from 6:00 p.m. – 6:30 p.m. This devotional provides daily devotions for the first Sunday of Advent (Nov. 29, 2020) through Epiphany (Jan. 6. 2021). Each devotion includes a scripture reading, photo, a reflection and a prayer. The devotional also offers additional prayers and blessings to be used throughout the season of Advent.
Saturday, Nov 21, 2020 at 10:00 a.m., meet at the Dorothy Carnes Park East parking lot on Jones Lane just off of Banker Road, north of Fort Atkinson. https://tinyurl.com/y24j9ucc
At the entrance, visitors will notice a log cabin restoration project in progress along with multiple farmstead buildings. Hearty Gardens, a community garden, makes its home here too. Visitors will find beautiful, groomed trails with restroom facilities. This is also the trailhead for two walk-in, rustic camping sites. Existing Facilities – Parking lot, trails, shelter, electricity, hand pump, picnic tables, restrooms, benches, observation deck, woods, prairie, grassland and wetland. Bring your face mask for using the toilets. Bring a water bottle, trekking poles or walking stick if you have/want them, snacks in case you need an energy pickup, bug spray, light jacket, hat and/or sunglasses. If you are more comfortable, you may also wear a face mask. We’ll be hiking about 3-4 miles in the 514 acre conservation park. It consists of 198 acres of prairie, 108 acres of Oak Savanah, 76 acres of agricultural land and 90 acres of wetland. The park surrounds Rose Lake marsh, one of the most diverse bird areas in the county. 480 of the 514 acres is also designated as the Rose Lake State Natural Area, due to its outstanding examples of native natural communities, significant geological formations and archaeological sites.
Any questions, please contact Aurelio at callopeAnD86@gmail.com or 262-490-4923.
Cards for Joanne
Joanne Nordeen recently tested positive for COVID-19, and will be in
quarantine for quite a while. Her family is asking for those willing to send
cards of encouragement to Joanne to help keep her spirits up during this
trying time. If you are interested, you may send a card to Joanne directly:
435 W. Starin Rd,
Whitewater, WI 53190
A special thank you goes to Mike Wendt for responding to an urgent need to fix a toilet! Toni Hrobsky, Sue & Scott Bradley for another beautiful year of flowers outside the church! Brad McGowan for the new mailbox and cosmetic work in the sanctuary after the projectors were installed! Tim Sawyer for responding to an urgent need to fix a urinal! A special thank you to Sharon Stade for selling the Adams Street property for us. Between showings and locksmiths, she kept busy on our behalf. Thank you Sharon for your faithfulness and generosity!
Little Free Pantry Update
The Little Free Pantry is being checked and stocked daily by our generous volunteers. Just a reminder that there is a box of food items in the church marked for the Little Pantry that can be used to stock it. Also, we know that other concerned church members put food in the pantry from time to time.
Please only stock dry items with freezing overnight temperatures upon us.
Feed Your Soul Volunteers Needed
Feed Your Soul at First United Methodist Church provides meals for those in need every Thursday afternoon. They are asking members of the community to volunteer with providing desserts for the meals each week. Here is a message from the organizer, Jen Lowry:
“A little about what we’ve been doing since March…By the grace of God, we have been able to continue serving the weekly FYS meal since March. We only missed serving one meal, the week the lockdown began. We are
managing the program on a takeout-only basis. The majority of people are coming to the church, and we are bringing the meals to their cars (no one comes inside the church). There are a number of people we also deliver
meals to, which makes up about 20% of the total.
The meals are all homemade casseroles, a vegetable or fruit or roll. There’s a team of five to seven people who come in every Thursday to prep food, pack the meals into to-go containers. Meals go out the door like clockwork! We have pretty consistently been serving 165 to 175 meals each week. In the last three weeks, I’ve seen a slow increase.
Here’s where we need your help: making desserts and spreading the word. Here’s the link to sign up for bringing desserts from October through the end of the year (the church remains closed for worship services, and so
we are also continuing with takeout meals only). https://www.signupgenius.com/go/20f0b48aea72ca5fe3-feed
1) Dessert making details:
- Desserts can be dropped off at the Fort Methodist Church (320 S. Main) from 1:30 p.m. – 3:00 p.m. on Thursdays. I put a cart by the back door of the church where desserts can be left. Use the buzzer to the right of the door and you will be let inside.
- There are no allergen issues.
- Best desserts: cookies or bar-type cookies/desserts. Frosted cakes or bars don’t fare too well.
- Packaging: please package 1 large cookie or 2 small cookies in Ziploc sandwich bags so they are ready to go.·
- Special note: we are serving on Tuesdays the week of Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Year’s. For Thanksgiving and Christmas, we would love to serve pie (no pre-portioning! We will do that). This is noted on
2) Let others know!!
Thank you so much! Let me know if you have any questions! God bless each one of you!”
If you need help signing up online, please call the Trinity church office at 920-563-4145. Sarah would be happy to help you sign up.
Hats and Mittens for STAR
STAR is continuing to collect all sizes of new or gently used hats, mittens and gloves to distribute this winter. With all that’s going on with the virus, or events not happening, we extended the intake until November 15th. You can bring items to drive-through communion. Or, drop them at church Monday through Thursday mornings; just ring the bell and someone will let you in. Boxes marked for them are in the hallway not far from the Food Pantry shelves.
Thanks for giving to share the warm love of Jesus to those in need!
Prayers Requested For . . .
Judy Almquist, Marsha Anderson, Sandy Anderson, Wayne Behselich, Doug Brown, Alberto Calderon Castro, Emma Clarkson, Linda Doerr, Eric Lonsdale, Bob Kyle, Phyllis Lang, Barb Manwaring, Dan Morrow, Dick Nehmer, Pam Nicholas, Joanne Nordeen, Debbie Pierce, Tom Pomraning, Violet Prust, Paul Reed, Diane & Daryll Reuhl, Shelley Scheurm, Ruth Smithback, Roger Strege, Donna Weeks, Donald Zuehlke.
Do you have a prayer concern? Email the prayer force at firstname.lastname@example.org. People will gladly pray for you or your loved one with their whole hearts!